Fleets Informed

Fleets Informed

Enterprise Flex-E-Rent Q&A

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How daily rental could suit your fleet needs

Enterprise Flex-E-Rent answers the essential questions, including those on specialist equipment and charges

1. How can daily rental offer an alternative to the round-the clock availability of a pool fleet?
Owning a pool fleet may seem attractive for a company. However, analysing usage will often reveal consistent periods of downtime (overnight or during school holidays, for example).

As well as the cost implications of paying for vehicles that are not in use, significant periods of inactivity can contribute to mechanical failures – especially where vehicles have ancillary equipment common in commercial vehicles such as tail-lifts, beacons or telematics. Outsourcing your fleet to a rental company can provide greater flexibility as well as financial control. An effective rental partner will be able to supply vehicles on terms to suit your business, whether that’s hourly rental or car-share for shortterm requirements or flexible and fixedterm rental for longer-term needs.

Selecting a customer-centric vehicle rental provider also comes with added benefits: a single point of contact for any questions or issues, a supplier who understands your business and the flexibility to change vehicle type to suit the individual or requirement on any given day.

2. Van fleets often have specialist racking inside their vehicles to carry the tools and parts their employees need. How can a daily rental vehicle meet this requirement?

A specialist commercial vehicle rental provider will stock vehicles with modifications to suit a broad range of industry applications. Vehicles that have been prefitted with racking, tow bars, Chapter 8 livery and beacons can all be obtained at short notice on daily rental terms through the right provider. Having this access to a huge range of vehicle types provides many benefits to companies over purchasing a vehicle. If your organisation grows rapidly, has seasonal fluctuations or moves into a new sector and you need to change your vehicle type, renting your vehicles means you can simply swap your vehicle for a different one that suits your new needs.

3. Many businesses require specialist vehicles like minibuses or refrigerated vans for chilled goods. How can a daily rental firm satisfy these needs?

Again, it’s all about identifying the right supplier. Specialist commercial vehicle hire companies will stock a range of vehiclesto suit most industry sectors; from refrigerated vehicles to welfare vans and accessible minibuses. Vehicles which might be too costly for an organisation to acquire through other means can be obtained easily and cost effectively on a flexible rental basis.

It’s also worth considering wider business rental requirements when selecting a commercial vehicle supplier. Using a vehicle rental company that can satisfy all of an organisation’s vehicle needs –  from car-share to daily rental, as well as longer-term rental and contract hire – will save you both time and money. Using a specialist commercial vehicle rental service also gives companies access to knowledgeable people who are experts in their field. They take the time to understand exactly what customers need in terms of their vehicles and may be able to suggest tweaks to specifications that  could make a big difference to operational efficiency.

4. At what length of contract and mileage does it make more financial sense to lease on fixed term rather than hire?

Without knowing the specific details it’s impossible to say – there are just too many variables. Vehicle type, rental term, mileage, additional spec or modifications will all have a significant impact on cost. 

Broadly speaking, if an organisation knows what vehicle and specification it needs as well as the period of time the vehicle is required for it’s more cost effective to enter into a fixed-term agreement.

If the term, specification or vehicle type is likely to change, it is far more cost effective to go with a flexible rental agreement. 

Some (generally larger) specialist providers will offer rental terms that fall between contract hire and daily rental; offering customers lower rates for a longer-term commitment, but without the penalties of a contract hire agreement. It represents a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario for organisations that might need vehicles for 12, 24 or 36 months but cannot commit with absolute certainty to a full contract hire agreement.

5. Daily rental fees seem very competitive until extras like delivery, refuelling, cleaning and mileage recharges are added on. How can fleets minimise these costs?

Daily rental rates are based on fixed parameters which should be made clear to the customer prior to the commencement of the hire. As long as the customer adheres to the terms of the agreement, the price quoted is the price they will pay.

If a customer chooses to collect and return the vehicle from the rental company there will be no collection or delivery charge. Likewise, as long as the fuel policy – it’s important to be clear on whether it’s ‘full to full’ or ‘same to same’ – is adhered to, there will be no charge for refuelling. If there is a mileage limit stated in the rental agreement it should be made clear to the driver of the vehicle. As long as the customer understands and agrees to the terms of the rental agreement, and manages usage accordingly, there should be no dditional costs incurred.  

Ultimately, this can be avoided by using a vehicle provider who is customer-centric where you can ring through to your account manager rather than being put through to a call centre. If customers have the opportunity to build strong relationships with their provider, either through an account manager or account managing depot, agreements can be reached and contingency plans put in place to avoid confusion or additional costs.

6. Company drivers often miss the handover of the hire vehicle and then challenge damage reports. How can fleets resolve this issue?​

Ideally, a representative of the hiring company should be present for handover at the start and end of the rental period. If it’s not possible the driver should still carry out their own inspection of the vehicle and document any damage (most people have phones capable of taking photos and this is a good way to capture the relevant information). If there is damage to the vehicle that is not documented on the check sheet at the start of the rental, it’s essential that the hire company is notified immediately. But using a customer focused
and responsive vehicle rental provider can prevent these issues from occurring.

That might mean adjusting processes to ensure handovers take place at a time and place to suit the end user rather than at a branch in normal working hours. A good personal relationship between the customer and account manager means they can discuss these kinds of issues and make different arrangements.

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